Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Just to let you know ...

... that they are in the post.
Hope you like them, Pj x

Monday, 26 January 2009

My Little Treasures

I've spent quite a productive weekend at home. I had a huge sort out in my daughter's untidy wardrobes and drawers. Everything is very organised now, so I am hoping she will keep it that way! Not very likely as she is naturally messy, I recently called her messy and she said that was an inconvenient truth! lol! On the other hand my son is very tidy, I almost never have to tidy his room. OH says that it is unnatural! You can guess by that comment that he isn't tidy either!
I have also completed these two photo frames, called Little Treasures. I bought the kit years ago and couldn't decide which pictures to put in! I have decided that 2009 is stash-busting year. I am only going to buy something if it is needed to complete a project that is being made with items from my stash. I have so many bits and pieces around that I may still be doing this in 2010!
This is Fay, one month old
and Jay one day old.
I also revamped a couple of my regular recipes. This tart here http://thesnailgarden.blogspot.com/2008/02/red-onion-goats-cheese-tarts.html I have altered using pesto sauce, a slice of tomato and a slice of Camembert for each one.
Also I altered my usual cheesecake recipe slightly to use chocolate digestive biscuits in the base and I swirled melted chocolate onto the top of the cheese layer.

The recipe is from the Nigella Express book, but I make it slightly differently :-

125g digestive biscuits, crushed in a bag and mixed with 75g melted butter.
Press into the base of a 20cm spring-form tin.
Mix together 300g cream cheese, 60g of icing sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp lemon juice.
Lightly whip 250ml of double cream and fold into cheese mixture.
Pour onto base and smooth top.
Refrigerate for 3 hours.
I was a little late this weekend and it only got 1 hour in the fridge. The recipe says to top with black cherry spread, but I use chocolate or leave the top bear and add more lemon juice and the zest to the topping and serve with homegrown cooked blackcurrants. I have also done this with orange and served with homegrown rhubarb stewed in orange juice.

When looking for the above mentioned recipe the book opened up at Hokey Pokey so I just had to make a batch!

Place 100g caster sugar and 4 tbsps golden syrup in a saucepan and mix. Place pan on heat, but do not stir. Mixture will melt and then bubble until the colour of maple syrup, in 2 -3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 tsps bicarbonate of soda and quickly pour onto a tray lined with reusable parchment or greased foil. Leave to set and then break into pieces.


Despite the horrible weather one little Winter Aconite has bravely shown its face in my garden. Lots of bulbs are poking their leaves through the soil, full of promise that spring can't be too far away.

Thank you to the people who have taken part in my little giveaway. Only a few of you replied so only a small hat was needed. Out of the hat I pulled :-
1. Leanne
2. MrsL
3. Gorse Wine
Please e-mail me at thesnailgarden@hotmail.co.uk with your addresses and I will post the items to you this week. I had fun doing this and will do another giveaway in the future. Hope you like the items that I have made. Best wishes, Pj x

Monday, 19 January 2009

From Rags to Rugs

What do 2 pairs of men's trousers, a skirt and a 20 year old off-cut have in common?
They all became a knitted rag rug. We were having a sort out last week and filled a charity bag with clothes, but some were only good enough for rags. In a mad moment I decided to shred some of the clothes, knitted this rug and then wondered what to do with it. I placed it underneath a radiator and ...

... Ella knew just what it was for.
This is the loopy scarf that I knitted for Fay before Christmas.
Rolled up it looks like a fir cone to me!

I have discovered a new (to me that is) blog full of deliciousness, called

This is one of her recipes:-
Apple Custard Teacake
It was delicious warm and cold the next day. It followed roast pork and spiced apple sauce. My husband says that this is the best apple sauce ever!
It is very simple to make -
Peel, core and slice 3 eating apples and place in a small saucepan with 1-2 tbsp of water. When they have started to soften add a sprinkle of crushed, dried chillies. The amount can be adjusted to taste. When the apples are cooked through add a spoonful of sugar and a knob of butter, stir until melted. Puree the apples with the spoon. Allow to cool before serving.



To Celebrate ...

... my blog's first birthday I would like to arrange a giveaway.

These are some items that I have made for the giveaway:-

lavender sachets, glass-beaded bracelets and knitted brooches.

If you are interested in taking part in this giveaway, please leave a comment on this post.

I will draw 3 names from a hat on 26th January and then the winners can
e-mail me with their addresses. Posting overseas is not a problem.


Also, I would like to say a big "THANK YOU" to Mrs L of http://unboughtdelicacies.blogspot.com/ for giving this award to me. It was such a surprise and so unexpected, thank you for thinking of me.


The rules of winning this award are lovely as I get to promote some of my favourite folk. Blogs who receive this award are 'exceedingly charming' say its authors. This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time and relationships. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Quite a few of the blogs that I would like to have nominated have already won this award so I would like to send this award on to the following people:-
There is no obligation to collect and display, just know you are appreciated and loved.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Waking up ...

... to a beautifully white world,
with just a touch of colour,


on a day of anniversaries.
Today is my Dad's birthday, Jay's first flying lesson and my blog's first birthday.
Do you think a cake is in order? I do!
Please spare a thought for Fay - she is camping this weekend! Brrrr!

Monday, 5 January 2009

I know it isn't much ...

... but we had a little snow last night. It has already disappeared, but a few more flakes are beginning to fall. They look so magical, especially when you are warm indoors! ;)

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Baby it's Cold Outside

The Weather Cats are staying in and I have taken my cue from them ... this photo was taken from inside our back doorway!
Maurice has been getting his exercise indoors on the Wii Fit.

After eating this cheesecake, recipe from "In the Mood for Food", I think we all need a few sessions on the balance board!!



White Chocolate and Bailey's Cheesecake
For the Base:-
250g shortbread biscuits, crushed finely
100g ground almonds
2 tsp ground ginger
75g melted butter
For the Filling:-
675g cream cheese
200g caster sugar
3 tbsp cornflour
2 large eggs, beaten
150ml whipping cream
150ml Baileys
125g white chocolate, chopped
Grease and base line a 22-24cm spring-form cake tin. I encased mine in foil to waterproof it. Preheat oven to 160'c fan.
Mix all base ingredients together, press into tin and refrigerate.
Using a processor, beat together cheese, sugar and cornflour.
Add eggs, cream and Bailey's and beat until smooth.
Stir in chocolate and then pour mixture over the base.
Place tin in a roasting tray, filled with 1-2cm of hot water. I found it easier to pour water in once the tin was placed on the oven shelf.
Bake for 40 minutes until top is lightly golden and filling is just set.
Leave in tin until cool. It firms a little more as it cools.

Maurice v Helicopter

Maurice and Ella kept following Jay's new helicopter around the room. I think Maurice's curiosity has now been sated!
video